Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

Open, general discussion of classic sound-era films, personalities and history.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 1996
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostThu Feb 06, 2014 3:19 pm

When the U.S.A. branch of the medical profession dedicated to animal care
makes/made much of its money from tail "cropping" (i.e. mutilation)
and "de-clawing" (i.e. amputation), should we expect any more from vintage or present-day Hollywood?

Image This is a thread on possible cases of cruelty to animals during film/TV production.Image

Think of the slaughter or injury of (many now-endangered) animals/species in films set in Africa, India, Asia...
Is it possible today to view Cooper & Schoedsack's Chang or The Charge of The Light Brigade without revulsion ?

But do we think it cruel to have Toto jump from the WWW's drawbridge?
Or to have Sgt Preston's sled dogs pull him through the snow?
And what of the horses injured in races, westerns, and wars that were staged for films?
(Horse-racing, perhaps even horse-riding, is inherently cruel.
Is it morally wrong to stage a horse race for films, even when no animals are "injured?")


Offline
User avatar

Spiny Norman

  • Posts: 1238
  • Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:21 am

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostThu Feb 06, 2014 6:12 pm

Or "Scipio Africanus" where the elephants die for real?
But what exactly is the question of this thread?

One book I read suggested the cruelty to animals at some point even became a standard item for reporters to comment on, almost to the point where the public expected to hear about it.
Also (apparently) one of the advantages of shooting on location was that more was allowed there.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 1996
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostThu Feb 06, 2014 6:38 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:Or "Scipio Africanus" where the elephants die for real?
But what exactly is the question of this thread?

A place to record under-examined examples
of animal cruelty in vintage films/TV
and (as indicated in the above links) modern productions.
Think of it as a companion thread to the
"bird kissing" posts ("bird squishing"?)
Offline
User avatar

entredeuxguerres

  • Posts: 4726
  • Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:46 pm
  • Location: Empire State

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostThu Feb 06, 2014 7:46 pm

Don't doubt there was plenty of harsh treatment before animal welfare regulations were introduced, but on the other hand, every appearance of an animal on film shouldn't be construed as cruelty. For ex., I guarantee you Sgt. Preston's dogs, like all other sled dogs, LOVED pulling their sled; it's what they live to do. At sled dog races, one handler is needed just to hold the team back at the starting line, because the dogs are in such a frenzy of excitement to run. Have read that Rin Tin Tin, by every outward appearance, seemed to enjoy "acting," & in fact, any dog actor that's unhappy would display in clearly in his demeanor.

Was surprised to read that "no animals harmed" disclaimer at the tail end of Age of Innocence, because all the dogs shown being pampered & cuddled were manifestly enjoying the attention.
Offline

Gloria Rampage

  • Posts: 293
  • Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:26 pm

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostThu Feb 06, 2014 8:42 pm

Tom and Jerry really enjoyed inflicting severe bodily pain to each other. They even won seven Academy Awards for executing slapstick comical punishment.
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 1996
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostThu Feb 06, 2014 8:52 pm

entredeuxguerres wrote: For ex., I guarantee you Sgt. Preston's dogs, like all other sled dogs, LOVED pulling their sled; it's what they live to do. At sled dog races, one handler is needed just to hold the team back at the starting line, because the dogs are in such a frenzy of excitement to run.

ImageThat's great news (except perhaps for sled dog unionizers) as the Preston show re-runs- in dreamy color!!!- are my new guilty pleasure. I'm awaiting the episode -there must be one - where King trounces the Sarge at chess.
Gloria Rampage wrote:Tom and Jerry really enjoyed inflicting severe bodily pain to each other. They even won seven Academy Awards for executing slapstick comical punishment.

ImageThat's bad news ... I'd been told they'd been stunt-doubled.
Last edited by JFK on Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5278
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostThu Feb 06, 2014 8:54 pm

The Oscar-nominated animation shorts show at the IFC is tied together by a couple of cartoon animals who tell anecdotes about their careers as stunt doubles and stand-in for stars. Apparently Donald Duck has put on a lot of weight.

Bob
The matter is complicated, and I shall proceed to complicate it still more.

-- Avram Davidson
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 1996
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Mister Ed

PostThu Feb 06, 2014 9:12 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mister_Ed
ImageThe horse Bamboo Harvester portrayed Ed throughout the run. Ed's stablemate, a quarterhorse named Pumpkin, also served as Bamboo Harvester's stunt double for the show. This horse later appeared again in the television series Green Acres.

Bamboo Harvester's trainer was Les Hilton. To create the impression that Ed was having a conversation, Hilton initially used a thread technique he had employed for Lubin's earlier Mule films; in time, though, this became unnecessary. As actor Alan Young recounted: "It was initially done by putting a piece of nylon thread in his mouth. But Ed actually learned to move his lips on cue when the trainer touched his hoof. In fact, he soon learned to do it when I stopped talking during a scene! Ed was very smart."

Reports circulated during and after the show's run that the talking effect was achieved by crew members applying peanut butter to the horse's gums. Alan Young said in later interviews that he invented the story. "Al Simon and Arthur Lubin, the producers, suggested we keep the method [of making the horse appear to talk] a secret because they thought kids would be disappointed if they found out the technical details of how it was done, so I made up the peanut butter story, and everyone bought it."
Last edited by JFK on Fri May 27, 2016 1:28 am, edited 3 times in total.
Offline
User avatar

odinthor

  • Posts: 567
  • Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:16 pm
  • Location: Southern California

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostThu Feb 06, 2014 10:52 pm

In the final minutes of Greed (1924), it's pretty clear that they actually do shoot the mule dead. Every viewing, this disturbs me more than does the fate of McTeague and Marcus. Bah!
_____
"She confessed subsequently to Cottard that she found me remarkably enthusiastic; he replied that I was too emotional, that I needed sedatives, and that I ought to take up knitting." —Marcel Proust (Cities of the Plain).
Offline
User avatar

Mitch Farish

  • Posts: 710
  • Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:30 am
  • Location: Charlottesville, VA

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 8:26 am

I never reacted to incidental animal cruelty in fiction. We know that animals can't really suffer in the pages of a book. And when I watched movies as a kid I always assumed some precautions were taken to ensure animal safely. But now, when I see actors in old movies using animals essentially as props, or know how they were killed in the course of making movies, it does make me angry, and frustrated, because I don't want to dismiss movies that are otherwise entertaining. It isn't easy to dismiss such cruelty anymore. Despite disclaimers that no animals were harmed, you can't watch the bear hunt in The Yearling and believe that the bear and dogs were not placed in jeopardy for the sake of realism. And there was absolutely no excuse for killing all those horses in Ben-Hur (1925), or in The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), or in Jesse James (1939) where a balky horse was tied and pushed off a cliff to drown in the river, just so Jesse could make his death defying escape. And I have a particularly cold feeling for Thomas Edison who filmed the electrocution of an elephant just to demonstrate what electrical power could do. But he, and I guess most of the generation who created motion pictures, had little feeling for animals, believing they were merely property; and lest we feel so superior today, don't forget that Michael Vick has defenders who claim those pit bulls were his dogs to do with what he wanted.
Last edited by Mitch Farish on Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Offline
User avatar

Phillyrich

  • Posts: 289
  • Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 8:42 pm
  • Location: Philadelphia

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 10:10 am

I understand the point about animal cruelty, but "Charge of the Light Brigade" was hardly the problem in the 1930's and 40's. Context.

Director Hitler was a little rough in his Concentration Camp scenes.
Offline
User avatar

Frederica

  • Posts: 4833
  • Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:00 pm
  • Location: Kowea Town, Los Angeles

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 10:17 am

Mitch Farish wrote:I never used to think about animal cruelty in film when I was younger. I never reacted to incidental animal cruelty in fiction. We know that animals can't really suffer in the pages of a book. So, when I watched movies as a kid I always assumed some precautions were taken to ensure animal safely. But now, when I see actors in old movies using animals essentially as props, or know how they were killed in the course of making movies, it does make me angry, and frustrated, because I don't want to dismiss movies that are otherwise entertaining. It isn't easy to dismiss such cruelty anymore. Despite disclaimers that no animals were harmed, you can't watch the bear hunt in The Yearling and believe that the bear and dogs were not placed in jeopardy for the sake of realism. And there was absolutely no excuse for killing all those horses in Ben-Hur (1925), or in The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936), or in Jesse James (1939) where a balky horse was tied and pushed off a cliff to drown in the river, just so Jesse could make his death defying escape. And I have a particularly cold feeling for Thomas Edison who filmed the electrocution of an elephant just to demonstrate what electrical power could do. But he, and I guess most of the generation who created motion pictures, had little feeling for animals, believing they were merely property; and lest we feel so superior today, don't forget that Michael Vick has defenders who claim those pit bulls were his dogs to do with what he wanted.


I cannot watch the Dogville Shorts. They are monstrous.
Fred
"Screw the men. I've got the horse."
Helen B. (Penny) Chenery
http://www.nitanaldi.com"
http://www.facebook.com/NitaNaldiSilentVamp"
Offline
User avatar

Mitch Farish

  • Posts: 710
  • Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:30 am
  • Location: Charlottesville, VA

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 10:35 am

Frederica wrote:I cannot watch the Dogville Shorts. They are monstrous.


I guess if filmmakers couldn't be bothered about the safety of extras and stunt doubles, they were bothered even less about animals.
Offline
User avatar

Frederica

  • Posts: 4833
  • Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:00 pm
  • Location: Kowea Town, Los Angeles

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 10:40 am

Mitch Farish wrote:
Frederica wrote:I cannot watch the Dogville Shorts. They are monstrous.


I guess if filmmakers couldn't be bothered about the safety of extras and stunt doubles, they were bothered even less about animals.


Word.
Fred
"Screw the men. I've got the horse."
Helen B. (Penny) Chenery
http://www.nitanaldi.com"
http://www.facebook.com/NitaNaldiSilentVamp"
Offline
User avatar

oldposterho

  • Posts: 478
  • Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:05 am

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 12:24 pm

While not surviving to the talkies, big ape Joe Martin got regular doses of cruelty on the set from his trainers, climaxing in getting a cap popped in his dome by his trainer (albeit only after getting all his teeth pulled out) when he bit his trainer's wife on set. The animals got the last laugh though when Joe's zoo mate, Charley the elephant, ended up stomping the trainer to death a few weeks later, although Charley caught one to the dome as well for his trouble.

--Peter
Offline
User avatar

silentfilm

Moderator

  • Posts: 9078
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
  • Location: Dallas, TX USA

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 12:35 pm

It's been a few years since I've seen it, but Martin and Osa Johnson's Simba (1928) documentary has Kenyan tribesmen killing a tiger. According to the titles, the tiger had eaten one of the tribe. They don't shoot it, but they surround it and beat it with sticks. It's one of the most bizarre scenes in film I've ever seen. You aren't sure if you want the tiger to escape or the tribesmen to escape without being bitten.
Offline
User avatar

Frederica

  • Posts: 4833
  • Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:00 pm
  • Location: Kowea Town, Los Angeles

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 12:53 pm

silentfilm wrote:It's been a few years since I've seen it, but Martin and Osa Johnson's Simba (1928) documentary has Kenyan tribesmen killing a tiger. According to the titles, the tiger had eaten one of the tribe. They don't shoot it, but they surround it and beat it with sticks. It's one of the most bizarre scenes in film I've ever seen. You aren't sure if you want the tiger to escape or the tribesmen to escape without being bitten.


I'm rooting for the tiger, but...It was a tiger? In Kenya?
Fred
"Screw the men. I've got the horse."
Helen B. (Penny) Chenery
http://www.nitanaldi.com"
http://www.facebook.com/NitaNaldiSilentVamp"
Offline
User avatar

Brooksie

  • Posts: 2639
  • Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
  • Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 1:48 pm

It's a mistake to think that people at the time unquestioningly accepted animal cruelty in films. Charge of the Light Brigade bothered almost as many people then as it does now. Errol Flynn even claimed to be the one who reported the claims of cruelty to the ASPCA. Who knows if he was telling the truth; at least it shows he was seriously concerned by it.

In Britain, people were so appalled by the charge sequence that the government introduced legislation, the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937, to ban the showing of films that inflicted cruelty to animals in the course of production (the Hansard for its introduction is here: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1937/apr/09/cinematograph-films-animals-bill).

This was a thoughtful move, but it did have some anomalies. It meant you couldn't show a fictional Western where a horse was killed, but you could show a documentary of someone shooting a horse, or a newsreel about the Grand National Steeplechase, where horses were regularly seriously injured or killed.
Last edited by Brooksie on Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Offline
User avatar

entredeuxguerres

  • Posts: 4726
  • Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:46 pm
  • Location: Empire State

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 1:53 pm

Frederica wrote:
silentfilm wrote:It's been a few years since I've seen it, but Martin and Osa Johnson's Simba (1928) documentary has Kenyan tribesmen killing a tiger. According to the titles, the tiger had eaten one of the tribe. They don't shoot it, but they surround it and beat it with sticks. It's one of the most bizarre scenes in film I've ever seen. You aren't sure if you want the tiger to escape or the tribesmen to escape without being bitten.


I'm rooting for the tiger, but...It was a tiger? In Kenya?


In Kenya, it was Simba...though it's impossible to imagine one of those, or even a leopard, succumbing to sticks, unless it had already been shot or speared, & was near death anyway. The Massai made a sport of spearing them, & I've seen images of a lion transfixed by so many spears it looked almost like a pincushion.
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 1996
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 3:39 pm

I know I’ve heard of several “trained” animal mishaps, or attacks, involving vintage stars, stunt doubles, stand-ins, or trainers,
but a quick google couldn't confirm the existence of any such ad-libbing critters… only stories of Christopher Reeve and Cole Porter.
Image
For instance, I thought I’d once read something sad about the bear in We’re Not Dressing (1934), but nothing turned up.
In more recent ursine news, Rocky, the 7½ foot tall, 700 pound grizzly who wrestled Will Ferrell in Semi-Pro (2008),
gave a fatal nip to a trainer's neck two months after the film’s release.
Randy Miller, the dead trainer’s cousin- and, as presumed owner of Predators in Action , Rocky’s boss-
stunted for Ferrell in the film’s close-up bear scenes.
Surprisingly, a pre-attack article on Rocky the Bear is still on the Predators in Action website :
...............Animals are most dangerous when they become possessive,” Miller said. “For instance Rocky might want to take someone’s jacket.
...............The difference is when he wants something and you don’t give it to him, Rocky will kill you for it.
The high profile of the incident may have helped Rocky avoid euthanasia for having done what came naturally;
certain sites suggest Ferrell now has some sort of “no animals” restrictions in his contracts.
Last edited by JFK on Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Offline
User avatar

greta de groat

  • Posts: 2013
  • Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:06 am
  • Location: California

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri Feb 07, 2014 3:46 pm

In this Kathlyn William Selig film Back to thePrimitive (1911), i was horrified to see that they clearly shoot a lioness onscreen.

http://www.t3licensing.com/license/clip ... Cprimitive

At least she has an amusing hat in her opening scene, it looks like she's making Jiffy Pop on her head.

greta
Greta de Groat
Unsung Divas of the Silent Screen
http://www.stanford.edu/~gdegroat
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 1996
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Animals as Entertainment:Bull"Fights"

PostSun Feb 09, 2014 8:30 pm

Image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk_to_Her
"In 2005, Time magazine film critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel
included Talk to Her in their list of the All-TIME 100 Greatest Movies.
Paul Schrader placed the film at 46 on his film canon of the 60 greatest films.
Academy Awards, USA 2003
Pedro Almodóvar Won Oscar Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Pedro Almodóvar Nominated Oscar Best Director"

........................BUT
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullfighting#Media_prohibitions
"Talk to Her, film by Pedro Almodóvar, contains subplot concerning female matador who is gored during a bullfight.
The director was criticized for shooting footage of a bull being actually killed during a bullfight staged especially for the film."
Offline
User avatar

s.w.a.c.

  • Posts: 1684
  • Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:27 pm
  • Location: The Land of Evangeline

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostWed Feb 12, 2014 7:31 am

While watching my Max Davidson collection the other night, I was thinking, "Some chickens may have been harmed in the filming of Pass the Gravy..."

Aside from the one that was roasted and tossed around like a football, that is.
Twinkletoes wrote:Oh, ya big blister!
Offline
User avatar

Mitch Farish

  • Posts: 710
  • Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:30 am
  • Location: Charlottesville, VA

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostWed Feb 12, 2014 9:25 am

One of the most egregious examples of animal cruelty is from Frances Ford Coppola, when he had a water buffalo hacked to death at the end of Apocalypse Now. He tried to say he was just filming a local ritual, but there seems to be some doubt.
Offline
User avatar

westegg

  • Posts: 1232
  • Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:13 am

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostWed Feb 12, 2014 12:18 pm

Mitch Farish wrote:One of the most egregious examples of animal cruelty is from Frances Ford Coppola, when he had a water buffalo hacked to death at the end of Apocalypse Now. He tried to say he was just filming a local ritual, but there seems to be some doubt.



That's one reason I've never seen that film again.
Offline
User avatar

Brooksie

  • Posts: 2639
  • Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
  • Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostWed Mar 05, 2014 8:33 pm

There was one I couldn't remember for ages that has just come to me - Jean Renior's Rules of the Game (1939). There's that horrible rabbit-shooting scene. Brings up nasty childhood memories of seeing bits of bunny all over my grandparents' farm.
Offline
User avatar

entredeuxguerres

  • Posts: 4726
  • Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:46 pm
  • Location: Empire State

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostWed Mar 05, 2014 8:50 pm

Mitch Farish wrote:One of the most egregious examples of animal cruelty is from Frances Ford Coppola, when he had a water buffalo hacked to death at the end of Apocalypse Now. He tried to say he was just filming a local ritual, but there seems to be some doubt.


There's no doubt it's a traditional ritual of the Mong tribe, though filming it undoubtedly required advance preparation, & possibly some monetary inducement to enact it on cue. Please remember, however, it's not PC to criticize the beliefs of native peoples!
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2812
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri May 13, 2016 2:29 pm

The killing of a bird - I think - featured in Godard's WEEKEND (1967), which seems to make Godard a humbug in the film's context. Is it possible this was faked. There is also a brutal scene with a cat in Bertolucci's 1900 (1976), but presumably this was faked.
Offline
User avatar

Brent

  • Posts: 198
  • Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 9:59 am
  • Location: UK

Re: Animal Cruelty-No Animals Were Harmed

PostFri May 27, 2016 12:58 am

I won’t supply more examples of animal cruelty on film as the list goes on forever. And I hate it. It’s not possible to ‘like’ posts or threads here, so I’m just giving kudos to JFK for bringing the subject up.
Brenton Film: The past, present and future of silent film
BrentonFilm.com
Twitter.com/BrentonFilm
Facebook.com/BrentonFilm
Offline

JFK

  • Posts: 1996
  • Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:44 pm

Elephants and Horses

PostFri May 27, 2016 2:07 am

With "performing" elephants becoming a thing of the past,
perhaps, too, will pass circus films set in the modern era.
(The downside for the species is that it now has one less sanctuary from the "ivory hunters.")


ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage


Horse "Racing"
Two horses die in first four races on Preakness Saturday
By Dillon Mullan and Cindy Boren May 22 2016
Exaggerator wins Preakness, two horses die before main event
Exaggerator overtook Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist at the Preakness on Saturday, May 21. Two other horses died before the main event. One collapsed after winning the first race and the other was euthanized after fracturing a bone. (Reuters)

Died ? Sounds more like they were murdered, for the entertainment of gamblers and TV viewers.
Imagine a World Series where two players expired on camera
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/05/21/horse-dies-after-winning-first-race-of-preakness-saturday/
According to a New York Times article from 2012, 24 horses die each week at racetracks in the United States. PETA released a statement on Saturday calling for the immediate release of the horses’ veterinary records and a list of any medications they were given in the two weeks leading up to their races.
Last edited by JFK on Fri May 27, 2016 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Next

Return to Talking About Talkies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Peg of the PreCodes and 4 guests